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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All...New here, I am hoping I am posting in correct place...Kinda inherited a Marlin / Ballard and I am brand new to this type of rifle....It is barreled with a Goodwin barrel in 32-40...has what i beleive to be the West action but am really unsure...Double set triggers and the closed small loop lever...nickle receiver.. looks to be approx an 1" octogon barrel about 30" long...came with a 10x unertl scope on the same manufactures mounts....Gentelman who owned it gave me some factory rounds with my hero John Wayne on the box as well as some older 38-55 brass, which is what I beleive he had it barreled in before he changed...I plan on having a smith check this grand lady out before I shoot her..but had one question....if I get a clean bill of health...can I shoot factory loads in this rifle??Thanks in advance for any and all help....God Bless..Randy A.
 

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Really depends on so many things beyond a clean bill of health. All factory loads are not equal, and some use jacketed bullets I would never shoot in an old Ballard rifle. Also depends on your gunsmith, and how well he knows Ballard rifles. Some are cast actions, and some are forged. If your gun was built up and barreled to .32-40 with a cast action, then not much will be safe in .32-40 with a cast action. Unless the factory loads are cast bullet loads, and you know the velocity of the load, I'd stick with mild cast lead reloads.
If you can post pictures of the gun, and what the rollstamp on the left side reads, plus whether it's two or three lines, it will all help. The vast majority of Ballards with two line rollstamp addresses are forged, and the opposite for three line receivers; they are mostly cast.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for that...I will be at work for the next week or three, but when I get home I will take pics and try and post..I did write down what the roll stamp states before I came in....as follows Marlin Firearms co. New Haven CT. USA...Patented February 9 1875....Ballards patent Nov 5 1861...rifle has a 5 digit serial number starting with 215**....sorry don't have any more info with me...I work offshore on a tugboat and will be gone till first week or so of next month...Again Thanks....
 

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Good morning
That is a fine looking rifle to go out and pop some paper or groundhogs !
Find the proper size lead bullet for that throat and I would not be surprised to read your rifle will shoot nice little cloverleafs at 200 yards.
Mine is a Marlin / Ballard 70xx. Switch hammer for rim or center fire chambered in 38 Long Ballard. That was overstamped to read 38-50. Loaded with 3f, a thick vege wad and a 155 grain 40-1 .382 bullet that rifle is a ground hog smasher out to 50 yards. Still gas the old sights with a tang sight. When I get back north in a couple months I will get a photo up.
 

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here she is.....
Looks like a customized Ballard Randy. I can't blow the picture up enough to see the roll stamp, so can't tell if it's 2 or 3 lines. Appears it may have started life as a Pacific from the lever, but many DST Ballards used the same lever, and I have a couple #2 Ballards and a #3 that also have that lever, so could be most anything. I don't believe that's a nickeled receiver. Most well worn case hardened receivers get a "nickel" appearance as they age over 100 yrs., and I think that's the case with your gun. The forearm and butt stock or both custom, and not Marlin Ballard. The barrel may be a factory barrel, but if it is the serial number would be under the forearm, and removal will determine that. I'd bet it's an after market, since the rest is custom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Missionary 5155...Thank you for that information...After I have this rifle checked out I hope to spend quite a bit of time with her....Thank God I have an understanding wife.....Marlinman...Thank you so much for that as I have been wondering exactly what I had....The left side of receiver is stamped as follows....Marlin firearms co.
New Haven CT. , Patented February 9 1875 , Ballards patent Nov. 5 1861....Serial number is 5 digit.....215**....with fore grip removed barrel has been replaced with a Goodwin stamped 32-40.....I have informed this man used to advertise in gun rags back in the 70's and 80's...I am hoping he did good work as I am really looking forward to shooting this rifle...Again Sir, Thank you for any help you may offer....God Bless..Randy A.
 

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Randy, if this Ballard is a two line address (you still haven't said 2 or 3 lines?) you should really take care with any loads! Cast actions were never used for CF rifle calibers, and should not have been barreled in the .32-40 at all. If you're determined to fire it, I would suggest you not use any smokeless, or even duplex loads. Stay with BP only loads or chance cracking that receiver.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Marlinman...Sorry forgot to post the roll stamp is a three line one...I am trying to get all the components together to shoot this beauty, but before I do I am trying to attend as many Black Powder shoots as possible....maybe I can get a little hands on experience...I have a few books to order and then somehow convince my lovely wife that she REALLY needs a new melting pot and bullet molds for our up-coming wedding anniversary...I have been reloading smokeless rounds for over 45 years...I am not gonna hurry this at all.....But I am all ready dreaming of little holes in paper......Thank you Sir for your time....
 

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Whatever it is, that rifle is a beauty! Thanks for the pics! John
 
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